Peter Kwasniewski

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‘LGBT’ appears for the first time in a Vatican document. Catholics should grieve

Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter

October 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – As reported here by our Rome correspondent, the working document for the Youth Synod underway at the Vatican contains the first use, in an official Vatican document, of the acronym “LGBT.” Why is this a big deal?

The term “LGBT” was coined by secular activists to describe what they consider to be a range of acceptable sexual orientations or lifestyle preferences: lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. The slang use of “gay” is already something that no one should buy into, since the shattered lives and angry advocacy of homosexuals is manifestly contrary to the original positive meaning of the word. 

More broadly, to say or write “LGBT” in a way that seems intended as a description that accurately represents reality is to embrace the ideology behind it, the construction of a universe other than the one God created. It is one thing to mention the acronym in order to critique it, but to mention it neutrally or positively is already to admit its false premises.

In his letter to the Ephesians (5:3–4), St. Paul enunciates a principle about Christian discourse, whether in writing or in speech: “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints; nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” Or, as the Amplified Bible translates and comments: “But immorality (sexual vice) and all impurity (of lustful, rich, wasteful living) or greediness must not even be named among you, as is fitting and proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness (obscenity, indecency) nor foolish and sinful (silly and corrupt) talk, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting or becoming; but instead voice your thankfulness [to God].”

In other words, Christians are not even supposed to talk about foul and disgusting things unless they are forced to do so for the sake of refuting error and defending the truth. This is the reason why Christians are also morally required not to watch TV shows or movies that display sexually immoral acts: if such things shouldn’t even be mentioned among those who are called to be saints, what would St. Paul say about watching them and taking them into our imaginations and memories?

Thus, we see that in the Bible, as well as in Church documents, immorality is dealt with either by circumlocution or in discreet and modest ways. If the Church is going to talk about psychological diseases and sins, she is obliged to use accurate terminology already given to her within the Christian tradition, accompanied by correct judgments about their degree of sinfulness and the harm they cause. Therefore, no document that claims to express the mind of the Church or of her pastors may talk about sexual disorders in a neutral, sociological manner, let alone with seeming tolerance, approval, or encouragement.

In the neutral, sociological use of “LGBT” by the Synod organizers, we can see what Steve Skojec has described as a process of “moving the needle” on normalcy. Fifty years ago, homosexuality was barely mentioned except in thick tomes of moral theology. It was one of those things that Christians didn’t talk about, as per St. Paul’s recommendation. As the decades wore on and the secular culture gradually “destigmatized” homosexual behavior, we saw it mentioned in Church documents, albeit always with clear condemnation. In recent decades, vague and misleading psychobabble about homosexual, bisexual, or transgender “inclinations” has crept into the discourse, muddying the waters still further.

Pope Francis catapulted the process to the next level with his infamous “Who am I to judge?” remark.

And now the Youth Synod, which was organized by and is being driven by a small faction of ultraprogressive ultramontanists, has moved the needle further by its premeditated adoption of the anti-Catholic (actually, anti-human nature) concept of “LGBT.”

For Catholics who follow the patent teaching of Scripture that God created human beings as male and female only, two sexes ordered to one another only, and that any kind of sexual activity outside of marriage between one man and one woman is foreign to virtue, personal happiness, and the good of society, the appearance of the ideologically loaded “LGBT” in a Vatican document is a moment of dishonor before God and the world. 

We do not yet know where the discussions at this Synod will go, but we have every indication, in small details as in larger ones, that it has been rigged from the start, just as the Synods on the Family were rigged. The final document—which, thanks to a move by Pope Francis, may now be rapidly rubber-stamped as “magisterial”—is likely to be either bad or weak. Neither outcome is worthy of Christ or of His immaculate Bride.

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Peter Kwasniewski

Peter Kwasniewski holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College in California and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. After teaching at the International Theological Institute in Austria and for the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Austrian Program, he joined the founding team of Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyoming, where he taught theology, philosophy, music, and art history, and directed the Choir and Schola. He now works as a freelance author, public speaker, editor, publisher, and composer.

Dr. Kwasniewski has published five books: Wisdom’s Apprentice (CUA Press, 2007)On Love and Charity (CUA Press, 2008)Sacred Choral Works (Corpus Christi Watershed, 2014); Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis: Sacred Liturgy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Renewal in the Church (Angelico Press, 2014); and most recently, Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness: Why the Modern Age Needs the Mass of Ages (Angelico Press, 2017)Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis has also been published in Czech, Polish, German, and Portuguese, and will soon appear in Spanish and Belarusian.

Kwasniewski is a board member and scholar of The Aquinas Institute for the Study of Sacred Doctrine, which is publishing the Opera Omnia of the Angelic Doctor, a Fellow of the Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies, and a Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center. He has published over 750 articles on Thomistic thought, sacramental and liturgical theology, the history and aesthetics of music, and the social doctrine of the Church.